Meeting Notes, May 18, 2017

At today's meeting, Loretta L, Loretta U, Thomas, Geri, Tim, Diane, Lisa, Kathy, Carolynn, Jerry, Tom, Dave, Sharon, Eunice, Joanne, Vicki, Jeanie, Annie, Jeanne, John, Stephanie, Ward, Kristina, Joanne T, Joanne K, Elo, Paula and me, Celeste.

Today's table topic: Things (that pertain to painting) that at first you did not get...but now you do! What was it and what made you finally get it?

Celeste: When I first started painting a teacher said that the blue of the sky is represented on everything. This threw me...because the warmth of the sun is also represented everywhere. So, how could "everything" in sunlight be both blue and warm?? I tried hard to see the blue influence. After time I finally did see it and I think my tomato painting shows that I made sense of it! I got it! (Laughter)! I am also showing recent paintings.

Loretta: I had issues in the beginning with perspective. I had it backwards! The instructor pointed it out and then I was careful from then on out! I am showing a painting that I just finished.

Kristina: During a plein air workshop Eric Jacobsen said to me: "Value first, house second". I did not get it at all at first, but later, with more experience, I did. What he was referencing (I think) was something that Hawthorne had said. It means that the house can be a major element...or a minor one--but whatever it is, it has to be the correct value. The house can be a dot on the landscape, just make it the right value in relationship to everything else! It took me a little while to intellectually believe it, but I get it now. I am showing some plein air paintings that I did in my back yard.

Elo: This entire year I haven't gotten things! (laughter)! I just keep working on it all. Direct observation is what I rely on. Because of circumstances, I often give my work away. My husband's grandmother died recently and I was asked to do a portrait of her. I did this after we went to her funeral and I made a gift of it. I am also showing two other recent paintings.

Loretta: I have discovered that it really is good to leave things "early" before you think you should! Just leave things and simplify. I am showing a recent painting.

Geri: Celeste told me about a painting friend of hers who said that she "liked to see what she could get away with". (meaning how much she could leave out and still have the painting read). I like that! It resonates with me. I am showing one of my watercolors...just for "fun"!

Tim: What I first didn't get? Everything! (laughter)! "Complimentary colors"?? I wondered ...what does that mean? (I get it now--didn't then)~! I am showing a recent plein air painting.

Joanne K: You have to wonder sometimes, when you say that you are "practicing"...exactly what are you practicing!? Have a clear idea...otherwise, you might be practicing things that are not helping you. Lately I have been re-visiting mediums. I am using walnut oil again. My "aha" moment was when I realized that I could plot a painting "thinly" and make changes and then add more and more paint (but only after I was satisfied with the plan). I painted this of Catherine at the piano at last week's Friday OSA session. (This pose was popular and Catherine is coming back to do the same pose on Friday, May 26). 

Diane: Painting has been challenging for me. Especially figures! Translating drawing into painting has been a struggle...but I have made significant progress.  I am showing an earlier portrait and a later one (a Zorn copy)..I "got" the feel of painting best in the Zorn copy.  Each time I paint now I make the decision to be unafraid!  

Lisa: My issue has been too much detail. My objective now is to put down enough information, but not too much, in order to let the viewer fill in some areas. When I was in a workshop with Scott Gellatly he showed me that I could "lose" edges in the made all the difference! I am showing a portrait that I have recently completed.

Kathy: I have had trouble finishing a painting...I keep wanting to make things more and more "real"! But, I recognize that the result will be most interesting when I stop earlier than later. I am showing a painting I did (I grew these carrots!) 

John: I am often too busy to get to my painting! I have to schedule it.  I will be going to life painting tomorrow with Joanne (at OSA). 

Stephanie:  When I first began painting I didn't give a lot of thought to composition.  I didn't really think about placing the figure within the space in a thoughtful way...and I'd leave the background white! Now I am much more aware about composition and backgrounds. Za once told me that trees are influenced by the sky color at the very top...and influenced by the warmth of the ground at the bottom. When she said it to me, I didn't get that at all and I couldn't see it. I think maybe you see it if you use a color isolator. I have learned that it is ok (and desirable) to go ahead and put temperature into paintings where you don't see it. It is ok to block things in in red and let the red show through. Red just adds excitement. I am showing recent paintings.

Joanne T: I didn't think I could do any of this! (Laughter)! I worked in a job that I didn't like and I dreamt about painting, but didn't think I could do it. I took classes in graphic design and I'm grateful for those classes and also for a watercolor class I took long ago. It gave me hope. It has been hard for me to "get" warm and cool and also, I've had trouble loosening up. But this painting of a snow scene...I got 100 likes for this on Instagram! (Applause)! I used a pinkish underpainting for it. I've had to concentrate on thicks and thins. I like painting from Tim's photos (thank you Tim)! Here is another painting I did that didn't seem right at first. I went back into it and made it better. Sometimes I tell myself :"Just play!"

Paula: It is all new to me and I don't get a lot of things! BUT... lately I have had a lot of fun discovering that I can create moods that express my feelings. I've learned this in Marla Baguette's online class. I am showing you some exercises we've done in her workshop. It is the same scene with different combinations of colors. This has been a revelation (that paintings can be planned like this).

Ward: What we all do has to do with shapes, value, color, lines, and texture--but for me the big one is shapes! I have learned that we all have a "library" in our minds that we call forth whenever we draw. We wind up referring to what we think we know instead of the actual shapes in front of us. I sometimes use the artograph projector for some of my projects and I'm unapologetic about it. In fact, the artograph has helped me to learn to draw! I often draw the regular way...whatever I can do to get the best result! I am showing a painting that I wasn't so sure about when I did it...but upon reflection, I've decided I like it.

Carolynn: Ditto to everything John  said (about having trouble getting to painting). I guess I need to prioritize it. I am very interested in impressionism. 

Jeanne: Lessons I have learned the hard way...Don't use student grade paint! You will do better work with better paint. Also, rather that do one painting under differing light conditions (over the course of several hours) paint two different paintings instead! The light changes too much to do one painting during one entire day! need to pay attention to where the sun is in relationship to your palette. I didn't bring a painting today, but I was hoping you'll come down the street at the end of the meeting to see my solo show at Multnomah Arts Center!

Annie:  I got a book about acrylic painting at the library. It was authored by a British artist. I "trust" the British when it has to do with water media (laughter)! The artist advised to take your largest brush and just paint the planes of whatever the subject. I painted this buffalo and when I was finished I said..."it's a buffalo"! (I might add, I get things...and then I un-get them (Laughter)!)

Jeanie: There are so many things I don't get, and I've talked about this before. I actually put "W" or "C" on my paint tubes to help remind me what is warm and what is cool!

Vicki: The exciting thing about painting is the you confront one hurdle and then another --on and on it will be without end! In Joanne Mehl's figure class she pointed out the the shadow side is more successful when it is in a pattern (or a significant overall shape). I brought in these van Gogh paintings and I see that he did this too (he made overall shadow shapes). I am showing recent paintings.

Tom: We all know that there is atmosphere in landscape, but there is also atmosphere within trees, for example. Within an object what is near and farther in those things need to be considered too. I am showing a recent painting.

Jerry: I started in oil, but I am very interested in watercolor. I wanted to share this "clock" description in this book. It has helped me a lot! The author assigns an descriptive order to the viscosity of paints and also the dampness of the paper. I painted these two paintings after reading the book.

(thanks for the link, Diane Marks Bestor)

Dave: In the very beginning I painted only in the studio. I overworked the paintings and I knew I went out with Anton Pavlenko and we went plein air painting. Anton would paint 4 paintings before I even got set up! (Laughter)! I started setting a timer to do force myself to paint faster. I really like to paint paint charts. I learned about this from Richard Schmid's book. I am showing two paintings. One is called Sun, Wind, Rain, and Hail (because we experienced it all while I painted this) (Laughter)!

Eunice: I don't have anything to add, but I wanted to tell Kristina Sellers that she should try to use oil primed panels (because she uses water soluble paints). I just learned about that.

Thomas: I do feel confident when I paint now...but I also often feel humbled. My big issue has been temperature. You can't have warm without cool...just like you can't have light without dark. Everything is affected by the temperature of the light. When there is warm light you'll have cool darks but! look for the warms within the cool shadows. There is always variety within the shadow. Temperature is not as complex as it seems. When you are painting, look for the big areas of warm and the big areas of cool. Link the warms and link the cools. I care less now about actual "local" color than I once did. Where warm and cool come together (especially when they are similar values)--that is what gives your painting life. I am showing a painting I did on site and a studio version of it. In the 2nd version I deepened the shadow and varied the temperature(s) within the shadows (staying in the same value).

Tim played his pan drum for us during "Announcements" !

Tomorrow Fine Art Friday (May 19) with Joanne Radmilovich Kollman at OSA (model Caedmon)

Saturday May 20, 12:30 Jurgens Park Demonstration with Eric Jacobsen $35.00 (some of us will paint afterwards) 17255 SW Jurgens Avenue, Tualatin, OR

Thomas Kitts, congratulations on Laguna Beach Plein Air Best Watercolor award (in their first Watercolor awards show).

Thomas is revamping his teaching space and will be offering classes locally. Here is a blog post he just did about Sorolla:

Portland Rental Gallery Reception (with Dave McBride, Christopher Mooney, Cathleen Rehfeld, Peggie Moje' and others) Friday May 19th 5-8pm

Submit to Large Oswego Festival of Arts

Dotty Hawthorne has a show at Christian's frame in Sellwood Reception First Friday

submit to the Beaverton Arts Mix

Jeanne Chamberlain solo show is up at Multnomah Arts Center

Ward Jene Stroud will host a party at his business June 1st. 409 NW 21st 

Ward's classes continue every Friday

Portland Photography Forum and OSA  (David Burbach, Eric Brody, Tim Mahoney and others) to May 25

Next Meeting: Thursday May 25 suggested table topic: Hot summer weather! 1. How do you keep cool in overly hot weather?  2. Do you have strategies for plein air painting and studio painting when its blazing sunny and hot? 3. What do you think good subjects are to describe summer?  Let's discuss!

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